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Release: Jan. 28, 2003

Decker Named Interim UI Vice President For Research

William F. Decker has been named interim vice president for research at the University of Iowa, effective March 1. Decker, 58, will receive an annual salary of $179,763, consisting of an administrative stipend of 15 percent in addition to his current salary as associate vice president for research.

In making the appointment, David J. Skorton, who currently serves as vice president for research and external relations and will officially assume the UI presidency on March 1, said that the appointment would strengthen the university.

"I am pleased and grateful that Bill Decker has agreed to shoulder this critical responsibility," Skorton said. "Bill has a long and distinguished record of service and leadership in the research enterprise."

Said Decker, "I am humbled to have been asked to assist President-designate Skorton in making a transition to a new administration. Let me be clear, however, that my service would simply not be possible without the assistance of the dedicated staff members in the office of the vice president, especially David Wynes, who will serve as institutional official for regulatory oversight."

Decker has served as associate vice president for research from December 1999 to the present, and from December 1993 to December 1999 he served as associate vice president for research and director of Information Technology Services. In addition, he was a program director for Advanced Networking Infrastructure (ANI), in the Division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research, Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Directorate, National Science Foundation (NSF), Arlington, Va. from April 1998 to September 2000. As program director, he was involved with NSF programs related to the federal Next Generation Internet project and the higher education Internet 2 project, a partnership of 108 universities that aims to create a computer network that is 100 times as fast as the Internet.

From July 1992 to the present, Decker has been an adjunct associate professor of computer science in the UI computer science department, where he served as acting chair from September to December 1987, assistant research scientist from September 1978 to July 1992 and adjunct instructor from 1976-78. He was a member of the technical staff, Hewlett-Packard Company, Information Networks Division-Data Communications Laboratory, Cupertino, Calif., summer 1979 and June to December 1981.

He was secretary from 1994-96 and vice chair from 1996-98 of the Board of Directors for CICNet, an NSF regional network for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an academic consortium of the Big Ten institutions and the University of Chicago. Decker served on the board of the UI Wesley Foundation, the student campus ministry of the Iowa Annual conference of the United Methodist church, from 1982-88 and from 1991-97.

At the UI's Weeg Computing Center, he served as assistant director for user services from 1976-78, research projects leader from 1973-76, and systems administrator from 1968-73.

A recipient of a UI Staff Achievement Award in 1988, he has been a member of the Association for Computing Machinery since 1966 and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers since 1979. Decker earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics education in 1966 and his master's degree in computer science in 1968, both from the University of Iowa.

The vice president for research oversees some 30 administrative units, including the Division of Sponsored Programs, Research Services Administration, the Office of Corporate Partnerships, Information Technology Services, the Women in Science and Engineering Program, the Public Policy Center, University Hygienic Laboratory, Oakdale Research Park, the Technology Innovation Center (the university's business incubator), the State Archaeologist, the International Writing Program, the University of Iowa Press, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. The UI ranks among the nation's top 20 public research universities in obtaining external funding, with a fiscal 2002 total of $341 million.